updated 10/02/2009 AT 1:10 PM ET
•originally published 10/02/2009 AT 3:00 PM ET
Former David Letterman assistant Stephanie Birkitt has emerged as the woman at the center of the shocking plot to extort $2 million from the Late Show host, but who exactly is she?
Birkitt, 34, until recently lived with Robert “Joe” Halderman, Letterman’s alleged blackmailer and a 48 Hours producer, according to multiple news sources, but die-hard Letterman fans likely remember Birkitt as the amiable assistant who often appeared on camera in silly outfits, yukking it up with Dave, who anointed her with nicknames including Smitty and Monty.
When Halderman allegedly handed over a package of potentially embarrassing information to Letterman last month – and threatened to go public unless he received a multimillion dollar payment – it reportedly included copies of parts of a diary and personal correspondence belonging to his then-girlfriend, Stephanie Birkitt, according to a search warrant obtained by FOX 5 News.